NUJ Surveillance & Blacklisting Campaign

27th March, 2014

As part of the campaign against blacklisting and surveillance the NUJ is asking for more members to submit subject access requests to find out what data the police have stored on journalists.

If you feel that in the course of your work you might have come under police scrutiny, or you have found yourself in front of a police camera lens, noticed an intelligence officer seeming to take interest in you, writing in their note books, or otherwise recording observations, it may be worth taking 30 minutes to fill in this form and send it off to help the NUJ expose and stop the monitoring of journalists.

More info here.

Jason Parkinson

LPB calls for Getty Images boycott

27th March, 2014

The LPB has proposed a Late Notice motion to the April NUJ Delegate Meeting in Eastbourne calling for a union-wide boycott of the purchase or use of photographs from Getty Images. This follows an announcement by the company that it is making 35 million pictures available free of charge for “non-commercial” use.

The Getty Images definition of “non-commercial” is extraordinarily wide. Most significantly for our members, it includes all editorial use. It also includes blogs using Google Ads to generate income – only direct promotion of a product, service or company is regarded as commercial.

This is a disastrous move for photographers. The British Journal of Photography (BJP) has described it as having “single-handedly redefined the entire photography market”. It cannot be allowed to stand. More detail can be found on the BJP website here and here.


Boycott Getty Images

This DM is appalled at Getty’s decision to make its photographic content available free of charge for so-called “non-commercial” use, thereby further undermining the ability of photographers to earn a living. This DM instructs the NEC to ensure NUJ publications avoid the use of Getty Images and to call upon all members to boycott the purchase or use of Getty Images photographic content wherever possible until Getty reverses this decision.

( No cost )

March Branch Meeting

24th March, 2014


At this month’s branch meeting we will be looking at the motions proposed for the NUJ Delegate Meeting next month. This will give us the opportunity to discuss the policies being lined up for our union, and to vote on how our delegates should address them at DM. The DM agenda is available (to NUJ members only) on the main NUJ website.

There will be the usual nibbles and networking, most likely followed by a visit to the Lucas Arms. See you there.

6.00pm Tuesday 25 March, Headland House, 308-312 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8DP


IFJ/EFJ Issue Urgent Media Safety Advice Amid Crisis in Ukraine

4th March, 2014

Following reports of the escalation of tensions between Russia and Ukraine, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have issued an urgent safety advisory urging journalists covering events in Ukraine to exercise utmost caution.

Over 160 journalists have been injured since the beginning of the Ukraine’s political crisis in November 2013, while journalist Vyacheslaqv Vereymi died after being brutally attacked in February.

Given the many brutal attacks against journalists in Ukraine in recent months and the ever increasing tensions in the country, we urge journalists covering events to remain mindful of their safety at all times and to ensure they take every step necessary protect themselves. No story is worth the loss of a life,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha.

Detailed Safety Guidelines can be downloaded from the IFJ website. For more details on Ukraine, please consult the IFJ Ukraine Crisis campaign page

The NUJ advice is that photographers and videographers should undertake Hostile Environment Training BEFORE covering a conflict like that in Ukraine.

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries

February Branch Meeting: Small Claims Copyright Court

17th February, 2014


This month’s branch meeting will focus on the new Small Claims Copyright Court. A mechanism designed to help members recoup money from stolen images and video. The NUJ has had a string of recent successes there and freelance organiser John Toner will explain how the court works and take questions.

Also the committee posts of Chair, Secretary, Learning Representative and Equality Officer remain vacant. There will be elections for these posts. Anyone interested in filling these positions should come along to find out more. 6pm Headland House Tuesday February 25th.

AGM: 6.00pm Tuesday 28 January 2014

18th January, 2014

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At our Annual General Meeting on the 28th January we will be electing a new committee – the people who will be helping to organise the branch’s activities over the next year.

With quite a number of current members not standing for re-election due to work or family commitments, new nominees are urgently needed. It’s a great way to contribute towards the running of the branch and its campaigning work, and to keep up to speed with the issues facing London’s lens journalists and the wider world of photojournalism.

There are eight posts to be filled: Chair, Vice-chair, Secretary, Membership Secretary, Treasurer, Welfare Officer, Equality Officer, and Union Learning Representative. The job titles are self-explanatory, but if you are thinking of standing and would like to know more, please contact one of the current committee members.

None of the responsibilities specific to each post involve a huge time commitment, and much of the committee’s business is discussed and decided collectively at the monthly meeting, or via email. No previous experience is necessary – there will be people available to help you.

Any full branch member can be nominated for a post. In addition, we have customarily also elected two, three or four additional members to offer general support. Temporary and Student members cannot hold a formal position, but in the past have been co-opted onto the committee in a non-portfolio role. Any branch member can come to the AGM without prior notice and ask to be nominated.

We will also be electing the branch delegates to the union’s April Delegate Meeting in Eastbourne, and two auditors to check the branch accounts at the end of the financial year.

Over the four years of its existence, the London Photographers Branch has made a significant impact both within and beyond the union. A strong and active committee is essential if we are to continue to build on our successes.

Branch Meeting

Before the formal elections and other business of the AGM, we will be hosting a discussion in advance of the deadline for voting in the election for the Photographers’ seat on the National Executive Council. We have invited the candidates to come and discuss with LPB members what they consider the most pressing issues facing lens journalists now and over the two years of their NEC seat tenure. Simon Chapman and Pete Jenkins, who are standing together as a job-share candidate, have agreed to come. Unfortunately the other candidate, Ozen Sengulen, who lives in Birmingham, is unable to attend, but copies of her election statement will be available at the meeting. This will be a great opportunity for branch members to talk through priorities for both the union nationally, and for our own branch.

The meeting is also the last opportunity for proposing amendments to motions for the DM.

6.00pm – 28 January 2014 – Headland House – 308 Gray’s Inn Road – London WC1X 8DP


Copyright warning: Spare Rib digitisation project

18th December, 2013

The British Library is proposing to digitise its collection of issues of Spare Rib, the pioneering feminist magazine published monthly from 1972 to 1993. In order to distribute the magazine free of charge whilst it is still in copyright, the library has chosen to ask contributing photographers, illustrators and writers to sign a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 3.0 Unported licence.

Amongst other things, this licence allows the licensee to “copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format”, and to “remix, transform, and build upon the material”. There is an excellent explanation of why this is a very bad – and totally unnecessary – idea by Spare Rib contributor Gillian Spraggs on the Action on Authors’ Rights blog. Anyone contacted by the British Library should read it carefully, and should also consider whether they wish to sign away their rights in perpetuity without payment.

The London Photographers’ Branch believes there are much better ways to implement this initiative without endangering the rights of copyright holders, and will be writing to express our concerns to the former Spare Rib editorial board, and to the British Library via the NUJ Freelance Office.

In the meantime, we strongly recommend that former contributors who receive a request to sign the licence do not do so.

Branch condemns security guard stop of photographer – AGAIN!

16th December, 2013

Last Tuesday, branch member Grant Smith was stopped by security guards outside City Hall while taking a photograph of a friend entering the building to deliver a report on city cycling to the Greater London Authority (GLA). Once again, out came the familiar refrain: “You need permission to take photographs. This is private property”.

The building, and the development around it, is owned by the Kuwaiti government which, in one of the largest UK property deals ever, has just paid £1.7 billion for it. But the riverside walk outside is clearly part of the capital’s public realm. Not only is it the public point of access to the Mayor and the GLA’s HQ, it is also part of the Thames Path National Trail, managed jointly by Natural England, the Environment Agency and Tourism South East. And yet none of these institutions appears able to prevent the powers that be in Kuwait City from determining what the citizens of London can or can’t do in the public areas of their own city.

Only a week before, the Southbank Centre apologised publicly after temporary security guards attempted to prevent photographer Marc Vallée from taking pictures in the open space around the undercroft skateboarding area. News clearly travels slowly down the river, but this has happened outside City Hall before, and it is high time that the GLA and Mayor Johnson took control of their own doorstep. If they can’t even manage that, what are they good for?

The London Photographers Branch demands that the Mayor and the GLA put an immediate stop to this interference with the right of both journalists and the general public to report and photograph freely in the public realm around the seat of London government.


December Branch Meeting & Party

9th December, 2013


6.00pm Tuesday 17 December, Headland House, 308-312 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8DP

The next branch meeting is on Tuesday 17 December and will consist of a short session of essential branch business, followed by an end-of-year slide show and a party that will start in Headland House and continue in the pub.

Send in your best shots for the end-of-year slide show
In the new year we will be launching a Pictures of the Month feature on our website. To kick it off we’re putting together a slide show of members’ favourite shots from the past year, to be shown first at the party, and then posted online.  Send in your photos now!

To enter, you must be an NUJ member. Images should be resized to 1000 pixels on the longest side and carry a watermark with your copyright details, as in the photo above. Each member can send in up to six pictures, emailed to by midnight on Saturday 14 December.

An invitation to new members
Branch membership has increased by 63 in the 11 months to the end of November, and we would like to extend a special invitation to our end-of-year party to all those who have joined in 2013 – it’s a great opportunity to meet and chat more informally with other members.

Facebook event:


Victory by Twitter!

4th December, 2013

Following our report earlier today, the Southbank Centre has tweeted:

“Visitors are welcome to take photos on site. Our temp security guards did not understand this. Apologies for any inconvenience”

The centre’s quick response is very welcome, and a sign that all the campaigning for the freedom to photograph in public spaces has made an impact, albeit one that needs reinforcing from time to time.

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